Feeding TIP for baby and toddler
In parenting, especially with birth of children after your “first”, you’re provided the opportunity to look back on your parenting skills then vs. now. At times you’re able to see clearly things you wished you’d done a little differently, or things you plan on changing this time around. The way I go about feeding babies and toddlers was one of those things for me.
With my daughter, my first born, I nursed her until she was 2 yrs old. Because we nursed I definitely feel like I delayed introducing foods a little longer than I should have, not because I intentionally planned to, but because nursing was easy, often, and was enough to sustain her. Little by little we began to slowly introduce baby foods by way of high chair feedings. What I regret is how I went about those feedings.
Let them make a mess
You see I was an exhausted first time mom, who’s house was already in a constant state of disarray, I dreaded feeding time. I did not want to have to give my daughter a bath, wash the highchair, seat cushion and floors after every single feeding, multiple times a day. We all know how feedings go down, especially in the years before EZPZ suction mats and Grapple High Chair Tethers. Their plate gets tossed, bowls and cups spilled, they rub food in their hair and you need a stiff drink.
In hindsight I feel my delay in allowing her to feed herself, because I was trying to avoid a huge mess, resulted in feeding issues for years to come. As a 3, 4 and 5 year old she was impossible to serve food to. Calling her a picky eater was an understatement. We tried everything. Dora plates and bowls, special cups, dinosaur shaped foods, etc. nothing helped motivate her to eat. Serving her dinner at her tiny table would result in her eating so slowly that you’d want to pull your hair out. She’d argue, let her food get cold and I’d find myself once again having to spoon feed her, with gritted teeth, until she was done.
I can’t know with absolute certainty that if I’d introduced her to a wider variety of foods, like Stonyfield’s YoBaby, despite the fact that she’d make a mess, and had I allowed her to feed herself, that it would have resulted in better eating habits. I do know that I did the exact opposite with my twin sons and they have never had any issues feeding themselves, don’t need motivation or bribes to finish their dinner and never have. They’ll eat anything and everything. At age 13 yrs, my daughter will still occasionally let her dinner sit for 30 minutes and get cold unless we encourage her to hurry up, take another bite, set a timer and so on.
What to introduce first
Stonyfield’s YoBaby, recentlly named #1 Pediatrician Recommended for babies 6 months – 2 years among refrigerated yogurts is a great place to start if you’re looking for healthy foods to introduce.
If you’re looking for homemade baby food recipes I suggest you revisit this blog post, Top Ten DIY Homemade Baby Food Storage Tips & Recipes.
Stonyfield’s YoTot and YoKids also provide additional yummy options beyond the baby ages and stages. YoKids Squeezers, Smoothies and Pouches are among my kids favorites and available for purchase at our local Publix.
I hope you find this post helpful. From a mother with good intentions who didn’t see anything wrong with feeding her daughter to a mother who wished she’d just let her daughter feed herself, I’m still feeling my way through this motherhood thing and this is one of my opinions on what I’d do differently if I had it all to do over again.
Comment letting me know how you feel about feeding? Do you dread the mess they make? Do you have any tips for helping keep the mess to a minimum while still allowing them to feed themselves?
*This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt and was provided to you as a part of their Blogger Ambassador Program.